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NEW SET OF CASES FOR PALE:

PCGG V SANDIGANBAYAN

FACTS

In 1976 the General Bank and Trust Company (GENBANK) encountered financial
difficulties. GENBANK had extended considerable financial support to Filcapital
Development Corporation causing it to incur daily overdrawings on its current account
with Central Bank. Despite the mega loans GENBANK failed to recover from its financial
woes. The Central Bank issued a resolution declaring GENBANK insolvent and unable to
resume business with safety to its depositors, creditors and the general public, and
ordering its liquidation. A public bidding of GENBANK’s assets was held where Lucio Tan
group submitted the winning bid. Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza filed a petition with
the CFI praying for the assistance and supervision of the court in GENBANK’s liquidation
as mandated by RA 265. After EDSA Revolution I Pres Aquino established the PCGG to
recover the alleged ill-gotten wealth of former Pres Marcos, his family and cronies.
Pursuant to this mandate, the PCGG filed with the Sandiganbayan a complaint for
reversion, reconveyance, restitution against respondents Lucio Tan, at.al. PCGG issued
several writs of sequestration on properties allegedly acquired by them by taking
advantage of their close relationship and influence with former Pres. Marcos. The
abovementioned respondents Tan, et. al are represented as their counsel, former Solicitor
General Mendoza. PCGG filed motions to disqualify respondent Mendoza as counsel for
respondents Tan et. al. with Sandiganbayan. It was alleged that Mendoza as then Sol Gen
and counsel to Central Bank actively intervened in the liquidation of GENBANK which
was subsequently acquired by respondents Tan et. al., which subsequently became Allied
Banking Corporation. The motions to disqualify invoked Rule 6.03 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility which prohibits former government lawyers from accepting
“engagement” or employment in connection with any matter in which he had intervened
while in the said service. The Sandiganbayan issued a resolution denyting PCGG’s motion
to disqualify respondent Mendoza. It failed to prove the existence of an inconsistency
between respondent Mendoza’s former function as SolGen and his present employment
as counsel of the Lucio Tan group. PCGGs recourse to this court assailing the Resolutions
of the Sandiganbayan.

ISSUE

Whether Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility applies to respondent


Mendoza. The prohibition states: “A lawyer shall not, after leaving government service,
accept engagement or employment in connection with any matter in which he had
intervened while in the said service.”

HELD

The case at bar does not involve the “adverse interest” aspect of Rule 6.03. Respondent
Mendoza, it is conceded, has no adverse interest problem when he acted as SOlGen and
later as counsel of respondents et.al. before the Sandiganbayan. However there is still the
issue of whether there exists a “congruent-interest conflict” sufficient to disqualify
respondent Mendoza from representing respondents et. al. The key is unlocking the
meaning of “matter” and the metes and bounds of “intervention” that he made on the
matter. Beyond doubt that the “matter” or the act of respondent Mendoza as SolGen
involved in the case at bar is “advising the Central Bank, on how to proceed with the said
bank’s liquidation and even filing the petition for its liquidation in CFI of Manila. The
Court held that the advice given by respondent Mendoza on the procedure to liquidate
GENBANK is not the “matter” contemplated by Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility. ABA Formal Opinion No. 342 is clear in stressing that “drafting, enforcing
or interpreting government or agency procedures, regulations and laws, or briefing
abstract principles of law are acts which do not fall within the scope of the term “matter”
and cannot disqualify. Respondent Mendoza had nothing to do with the decision of the
Central Bank to liquidate GENBANK. He also did not participate in the sale of GENBANK
to Allied Bank. The legality of the liquidation of GENBANK is not an issue in the
sequestration cases. Indeed, the jurisdiction of the PCGG does not include the dissolution
and liquidation of banks. Thus, the Code 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
cannot apply to respondent Mendoza because his alleged intervention while SolGen is an
intervention on a matter different from the matter involved in the Civil case of
sequestration. In the metes and bounds of the “intervention”. The applicable meaning as
the term is used in the Code of Professional Ethics is that it is an act of a person who has
the power to influence the subject proceedings. The evil sought to be remedied by the
Code do not exist where the government lawyer does not act which can be considered as
innocuous such as “ drafting, enforcing, or interpreting government or agency
procedures, regulations or laws or briefing abstract principles of law.” The court rules that
the intervention of Mendoza is not significant and substantial. He merely petitions that
the court gives assistance in the liquidation of GENBANK. The role of court is not strictly
as a court of justice but as an agent to assist the Central Bank in determining the claims
of creditors. In such a proceeding the role of the SolGen is not that of the usual court
litigator protecting the interest of government.Petition assailing the Resolution of the
Sandiganbayan is denied.

Relevant Dissenting Opinion of Justice Callejo:

Rule 6.03 is a restatement of Canon 36 of the Canons of Professional Ethics: “ A lawyer,


having once held public office or having been in the public employ, should not after his
retirement accept employment in connection with any matter which he has investigated
or passed upon while in such office or employ.”

Indeed, the restriction against a public official from using his public position as a vehicle
to promote or advance his private interests extends beyond his tenure on certain matters
in which he intervened as a public official. Rule 6.03 makes this restriction specifically
applicable to lawyers who once held public office.” A plain reading shows that the
interdiction 1. applies to a lawyer who once served in the government and 2. relates to his
accepting “engagement or employment” in connection with any matter in which he had
intervened while in the service.
Director of Religious Affairs vs
Estanislao Bayot

FACTS:

74 Phil 579 – Legal Ethics – Malpractice

In June 1943, Bayot advertised in a newspaper that he helps people in securing marriage
licenses; that he does so avoiding delays and publicity; that he also makes marriage
arrangements; that legal consultations are free for the poor; and that everything is
confidential. The Director of Religious Affairs took notice of the ad and so he sued Bayot for
Malpractice.

Bayot initially denied having published the advertisement. But later, he admitted the same
and asked for the court’s mercy as he promised to never repeat the act again.

ISSUE: Whether or not Bayot is guilty of Malpractice.

HELD: Yes. Section 25 of Rule 127 expressly provides among other things that “the practice
of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or thru paid agents or
brokers, constitutes malpractice.” The advertisement he caused to be published is a brazen
solicitation of business from the public. .” It is highly unethical for an attorney to advertise his
talents or skill as a merchant advertises his wares. The Supreme Court again emphasized
that best advertisement for a lawyer is the establishment of a well-merited reputation for
professional capacity and fidelity to trust. But because of Bayot’s plea for leniency and his
promise and the fact that he did not earn any case by reason of the ad, the Supreme Court
merely reprimanded him.
Atty. Rosalie Dallong- Galicinao, Complainant, v. Atty. Virgil R. Castro, Respondent’s | Adm. Case
No. 6396 | 25 October 2005

Facts:

This administrative case concerns a lawyer who hurled invectives at a Clerk of Court. Members
of the bar decorum must at all times comfort themselves in a manner befitting their noble
profession.

Complainant Atty. Rosalie Dallong-Galicinao is the Clerk of Court of the RTC of Bambang, Nueva
Vizcaya. She filed with the Commission on Bar Discipline of the IBP a complaint-affidavit against
Atty. VIRGIL CASTRO for UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT, specfically violation of Canon 7, Rule
7.03

Atty. Dallong-Galicinao is the Clerk of Court of RTC and Atty. Castro was a private practitioner and
VP of IBP-Nueva Vizcaya. Respondent went to complainant’s office to inquire whether the
records of Civil Case No. 784 had already been remanded to the MCTC. Respondent was not the
counsel of either party in that case.

Complainant replied that the record had not yet been transmitted since a certified true copy of
the CA decision should first be presented. To this respondent retorted, “You mean to say, I would
have to go to Manila to get a copy?” Complainant replied that respondent may show instead the
copy sent to the party he represents. Respondent then replied that complainant should’ve
notified him. Complainant explained that it is not her duty to notify the respondent of such duty.
Angered, respondent yelled stuff in Ilocano and left the office, banging the door so loud. He then
returned to the office and shouted, “Ukinnam nga babai!” (“Vulva of your mother, you woman!”)

Later, complainant filed a manifestation that she won’t appear in the hearing of the case in view
of the respondent’s public apology, and that the latter was forgiven already.

Issue:
Did the respondent violated the Code of Professional Responsibility given his actions towards the
complainant?

Held:

Yes, the Respondent violated the Code of Professional Responsibility.

Respondent was not the counsel of record of Civil Case No. 784. His explanation that he will enter
his appearance in the case when its records were already transmitted to the MCTC is
unacceptable. Not being the counsel of record respondent had no right to impose his will on the
clerk of court. He violated Rule 8.02, because this was an act of encroachment. It matters not
that he did so in good faith.

His act of raising his voice and uttering vulgar incentives to the clerk of court was not only ill-
mannered but also unbecoming considering that he did these in front of the complainant’s
subordinates. For these, he violated Rules 7.03 and 8.01 and Canon 8.

The penalty was tempered because respondent apologized to the complainant and the latter
accepted it. This is not to say, however, that respondent should be absolved from his actuations.
People are accountable for the consequences of the things they say and do even if they repent
afterwards.

The respondent is hereby FINED in the amount of TEN THOUSAND (P10,000.00) PESOS with a
warning that any similar infraction with be dealt with more severely.
Letter of Atty. Cecilio Y. Arevalo, Jr. B.M. No. 1370 May 9, 2005

FACTS:

Petitioners files a motion for exemption for paying his IBP dues from 1977-2005 in the amount
of P12,035.00. He contends that after admission to the Bar he worked at the Phil. Civil Service
then migrated to the US until his retirement. His contention to be exempt is that his employment
with the CSC prohibits him to practice his law profession and he did not practice the same while
in the US. The compulsion that he pays his IBP annual membership is oppressive since he has an
inactive status as a lawyer. His removal from the profession because of non-payment of the same
constitutes to the deprivation of his property rights bereft of due process of the law.

ISSUE:

WON inactive practice of the law profession is an exemption to payment for IBP annual
membership.

RULING:

The court held that the imposition of the membership fee is a matter of regulatory measure by
the State, which is a necessary consequence for being a member of the Philippine Bar. The
compulsory requirement to pay the fees subsists for as long as one remains to be a member
regardless whether one is a practicing lawyer or not. Thus, his petition for exemption from paying
his IBP membership fee dues is denied.
TOLOSA vs. CARGO
A.M. No. 2385 | March 8, 1989

Facts:

Complainant Jose Tolosa filed with the Court an Affidavit- Complaint seeking the disbarment of
respondent District Citizens’ Attorney Alfredo Cargo for immorality. Complainant claimed that
respondent had been seeing his (complainant’s) wife Priscilla M. Tolosa in his house and
elsewhere. Complainant further alleged that his wife left his conjugal home and went to live with
respondent.

Complying with an order of this Court, respondent filed a “Comment and/or Answer” denying
the allegations of complainant. Respondent acknowledged that complainant’s wife had been
seeing him but that she had done so in the course of seeking advice from respondent (in view of
the continuous cruelty and unwarranted marital accusations of affiant [complainant] against
her), much as complainant’s mother-in-law had also frequently sought the advice of respondent
and of his wife and mother as to what to do about the” continuous quarrels between affiant and
his wife and the beatings and physical injuries (sometimes less serious) that the latter sustained
from the former.

Complainant filed a Reply to respondent’s “Comment and/or Answer” and made a number of
further allegations, to wit:

(a) That complainant’s wife was not the only mistress that respondent had taken;
(b) That respondent had paid for the hospital and medical bills of complainant’s wife last May
1981, and visited her at the hospital everyday;

(c) That he had several times pressed his wife to stop seeing respondent but that she had refused
to do so;

(d) That she had acquired new household and electrical appliances where she was living although
she had no means of livelihood; and

(e) That respondent was paying for his wife’s house rent.

Respondent filed a Rejoinder denying the further allegations of complainant, and stating that he
(respondent) had merely given complainant’s wife the amount of P35.00 by way of financial
assistance during her confinement in the hospital.

The Solicitor General found that complainant’s charges of immorality had not been sustained by
sufficient evidence. At the same time, however, the Solicitor General found that the respondent
had not been able to explain satisfactorily the following:

Respondent’s failure to avoid seeing Priscilla, in spite of complainant’s suspicion and/or jealousy
that he was having an affair with his wife.

Priscilla’s being able to rent an apartment in Malabon whose owner is admittedly a friend and
former client of respondent.

Respondent’s failure to avoid going to Malabon to visit his friend, in spite of his differences with
complainant.

Respondent’s failure to avoid getting involved invarious incidents involving complainant and
Priscilla’s brothers

Respondent’s interest in seeing Priscilla in the evening when she was confined in the FEU
Hospital, in spite again of his differences with complainant.

Issue:

WON the respondent should be suspended


Held:

NO. The record does not contain sufficient evidence to show that respondent had indeed been
cohabiting with complainant’s wife or was otherwise guilty of acts of immorality. For this very
reason, we do not believe that the penalty of suspension from the practice of law may be properly
imposed upon respondent.

At the same time, the Court agrees that respondent should be reprimanded for failure to comply
with the rigorous standards of conduct appropriately required from the members of the Bar and
officers of the court. As officers of the court, lawyers must not only in fact be of good moral
character but must also be seen to be of good moral character and leading lives in accordance
with the highest moral standards of the community. More specifically, a member of the Bar and
officer of the court is not only required to refrain from adulterous relationships or the keeping of
mistresses but must also so behave himself as to avoid scandalizing the public by creating the
belief that he is flouting those moral standards.
OMAR P. ALI, complainant, vs. ATTY. MOSIB A.
BUBONG, respondent A.C. No. 4018. March 8, 2005

FACTS:

This is a verified petition for disbarment filed against Atty. Mosib Ali Bubong for having been found
guilty of grave misconduct while holding the position of Register of Deeds of Marawi City. It
appears that this disbarment proceeding is an off-shoot of the administrative case
earlier filed by complainant against respondent, which was initially investigated by the Land
Registration Authority (LRA), complainant charged respondent with illegal exaction; indiscriminate
issuance of Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT); and manipulating the criminal complaint filed
against Hadji Serad Bauduli Datu and others for violation of the Anti-Squatting Law.

It appears from the records that the Baudali Datus are relatives of respondent. The initial inquiry
by the LRA was resolved in favor of respondent, absolved respondent of all the charges brought
against him. The case was then forwarded to the DOJ for review, then SoJ Franklin Drilon
exonerated respondent of the charges of illegal exaction and infidelity in the custody of
documents, but held guilty of grave misconduct for his imprudent issuance of TCT and
manipulating the criminal case for violation of the Anti-Squatting Law instituted against Hadji
Serad Bauduli Datu and the latter’s co-accused. As a result of this finding, former President FVR
issued AO No. 41 adopting in toto the conclusion reached by Secretary Drilon. Respondent
questioned said AO before this Court through a petition for certiorari, mandamus, and prohibition
claiming that the Office of the

President did not have the authority and jurisdiction to remove him from office and
insisted that respondents violated the laws on security of tenure and that respondent
Reynaldo V. Maulit, then the administrator of the LRA committed a breach of Civil Service
Rules when he abdicated his authority to resolve the administrative complaint against him
(herein respondent), but was dismissed for failure on the part of petitioner to sufficiently
show that public respondent committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing the
questioned order.

Respondent MR was denied with finality.

On the disbarment proceeding, complainant claims that it has become obvious that respondent
had proven himself unfit to be further entrusted with the duties of an attorney and that he poses
a serious threat to the integrity of the legal profession. Respondent maintains that there was
nothing irregular with his issuance of TCT No. T-2821 in the name of the Bauduli Datus. According
to him, both law and jurisprudence support his stance that it was his ministerial duty, as the
Register of Deeds of Marawi City, to act on applications for land registration on the basis only of
the documents presented by the applicants. In the case of the Bauduli Datus, nothing in the
documents they presented to his office warranted suspicion, hence, he was duty-bound to issue
TCT No. T-2821 in their favor.

Respondent also insists that he had nothing to do with the dismissal of criminal complaint for
violation of the Anti-Squatting Law and explains that his participation in said case was a result of
the two subpoenas duces tecum issued by the investigating prosecutor who required him to
produce the various land titles involved in said dispute. The IBP commenced the
investigation of this disbarment suit. On 23 February 1996, Commissioner Victor C.
Fernandez denied the order relative to the transfer of venue of this case and penalized with
dismissal from the service, as Register of Deeds of Marawi City. The finding of Grave Misconduct
on the part of respondent by the Office of the President was fully supported by evidence and as
such carries a very strong weight in considering the professional misconduct of respondent in the
present case. The IBP Board of Governors adopted and approved, with modification, which
pertained solely to the period of suspension from the practice of law from a five-year suspension
to a two-year suspension to be proper.

On 17 January 2003, respondent MR was denied as by that time, the matter had already been
endorsed to this Court.

ISSUE:
WON respondent may be disbarred for grave misconduct committed while he was in the employ
of the government.

RULING:

We resolve this question in the affirmative. The Code of Professional Responsibility does not
cease to apply to a lawyer simply because he has joined the government service. In fact, by the
express provision of Canon 6 thereof, the rules governing the conduct of lawyers shall apply to
lawyers in government service in the discharge of their official tasks. Thus, where a lawyer’s
misconduct as a government official is of such nature as to affect his qualification as a lawyer or
to show moral delinquency, then he may be disciplined as a member of the bar on such grounds.

Although the general rule is that a lawyer who holds a government office may not be disciplined
as a member of the bar for infractions he committed as a government official, he may, however,
be disciplined as a lawyer if his misconduct constitutes a violation of his oath a member of the
legal profession.

In the case at bar, respondents grave misconduct, as established by the Office of


the President and subsequently affirmed by this Court, deals with his qualification as a lawyer.
By taking advantage of his office as the Register of Deeds of Marawi City and employing his
knowledge of the rules governing land registration for the benefit of his relatives, respondent
had clearly demonstrated his unfitness not only to perform the functions of a civil servant but
also to retain his membership in the bar. Rule 6.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility is
explicit on this matter. It reads:

Rule 6.02 A lawyer in the government service shall not use his public position to promote or
advance his private interests, nor allow the latter to interfere with his public duties.

Respondents conduct manifestly undermined the people’s confidence in the public office he used
to occupy and cast doubt on the integrity of the legal profession. The ill-conceived use of his
knowledge of the intricacies of the law calls for nothing less than the withdrawal of his privilege to
practice law.

As for the letter sent by Bainar Ali, the deceased complainants daughter, requesting for the
withdrawal of this case, we cannot possibly favorably act on the same as proceedings of this
nature cannot be interrupted or terminated by reason of desistance, settlement, compromise,
restitution, withdrawal of the charges or failure of the complainant to prosecute the same.
As we have previously explained in the case of Irene Rayos-Ombac v. Atty. Orlando A. Rayos: A
case of suspension or disbarment may proceed regardless of interest or lack of interest of the
complainant. What matters is whether, on the basis of the facts borne out by the record, the
charge of deceit and grossly immoral conduct has been duly proven. This rule is premised on the
nature of disciplinary proceedings. A proceeding for suspension or disbarment is not in any sense
a civil action where the complainant is a plaintiff and the respondent lawyer is a defendant.
Disciplinary proceedings involve no private interest and afford no redress for private grievance.
They are undertaken and prosecuted solely for the public welfare. They are undertaken for the
purpose of preserving courts of justice from the official ministration of persons unfit to practice in
them. The attorney is called to answer to the court for his conduct as an officer of the court. The
complainant or the person who called the attention of the court to the attorneys alleged
misconduct is in no sense a party, and has generally no interest in the outcome except as all good
citizens may have in the proper administrative of justice.
In Re: Lanuevo 66 SCRA 254 August 29, 1975

FACTS:

This is an administrative proceeding against Victorio Lanueva who was the Bar Confidant during
the 1971 Bar Examination emanating from the revelation of one Oscar Landicho, a bar examinee
of the same bar exam, in his confidential letter that the result of the bar exam of one of the bar
examinee later identified as Ramon Galang was raised before the result was released to make
him pass the bar. Acting upon said letter, the court called the 5 bar examiners and the Bar
Confident Lanuevo to submit their sworn statements on the matter. It appears that each of the
5 bar examiners were approached by Lanuevo with the examination booklet asking them to re-
evaluate the grades of the bar examiner explaining that it is a practice policy in bar exams that
he will review the grades obtained in all subjects by an examinee and when he finds a candidate
to have extraordinary high grades in other subjects and low grade in one subject he can bring it
to the examiner for reconsideration to help the candidate pass. In good faith of trust and
confidence to the authority of Lanuevo, the examiners re-evaluated the exam of the candidate
and reconsider the grade they give for each subject matter. Further investigation also revealed
that Ramon Galang was charged with crime of slight physical injuries in the Mla. MTC but did not
revealed the information in his application to take the bar examination.

ISSUE:
WON Lanuevo has the authority to ask bar examiners to re-evaluate and re-correct the
examination result of a bar candidate.

RULING:

The court ruled that it is evident that Lanuevo has deceptively staged a plot to convince each
examiner individually to re-evaluate the grades of Galang in order to help him pass the bar
without prior authorization of the Court. His duty as a Bar Confident is limited only as a custodian
of the examination notebooks after they are corrected by the examiners where he is tasked to
tally the general average of the bar candidate. All requests for re-evaluation of grades from the
bar exam shall be made by the candidate themselves. With the facts fully established that
Lanuevo initiated the re-evaluation of the exam answers of Galang without the authority of the
Court, he has breached the trust and confidence given to him by the court and was disbarred
with his name stricken out from the rolls of attorneys. Galang was likewise disbarred for
fraudulently concealing the criminal charges against him in his application for the bar exam while
under oath constituting perjury. The court believed that the 5 bar examiners acted in good faith
and thereby absolved from the case but reminded to perform their duties with due care.
In the matter of the Petition for Disbarment of Telesforo Diao
vs. Severino Martinez

FACTS:

1. DIAO was admitted to the Bar.


1. 2 years later, Martinez charged him with having falsely represented in his application for the Bar
examination, that he had the requisite academic qualifications.
2. Solicitor General investigated and recommended that Diao's name be erased from the roll of attorneys
i. DIAO did not complete pre-law subjects:

1. Did not complete his high school training

2. Never attended Quisumbing College

3. Never obtained a diploma.

2. DIAO admitting first charge but claims that although he had left high school in his third year, he entered
the service of the U.S. Army, passed the General Classification Test given therein, which (according to him)
is equivalent to a high school diploma
1. Upon return to civilian life, the educational authorities considered his army service as the equivalent of
3rd and 4th year high school.
2. No certification. However, it is unnecessary to dwell on this, since the second charge is clearly meritorious:
i. Never obtained his diploma. from Quisumbing College; and yet his application for
examination represented him as an A.A. graduate.

ii. Now, asserting he had obtained his A.A. title from the Arellano University in April,
1949

1. He said erroneously certified, due to confusion, as a graduate of


Quisumbing College, in his school records.

ISSUE:

WON DIAO still continue admission to the Bar, for passing the Bar despite not completing pre-law
requirements? NO.

HELD:

STRIKE OUT NME OF DIAO IN ROLL OF ATTORNEYS. DIAO REQUIRED TO RETURN HIS LAWYER’S
DIPLOMA WITHIN 30 DAYS.

1. Explanation of error or confusion is not acceptable.


1. Had his application disclosed his having obtained A.A. from Arellano University, it would also have
disclosed that he got it in April, 1949, thereby showing that he began his law studies (2nd semester of
1948-1949) six months before obtaining his Associate in Arts degree.
2. He would not have been permitted to take the bar tests:
i. Bar applicant must affirm under oath, "That previous to the study of law, he had
successfully and satisfactorily completed the required pre-legal education (A.A.).

ii. Therefore, Diao was not qualified to take the bar examinations

iii. Such admission having been obtained under false pretenses must be, and is hereby
revoked.

2. Passing such examinations is not the only qualification to become an attorney-at-law; taking the
prescribed courses of legal study in the regular manner is equally essential.